President disapproves signing of proposal co-sponsoring UNHRC resolution

President disapproves signing of proposal co-sponsoring UNHRC resolution

Written by Staff Writer

27 Mar, 2019 | 10:42 pm

Colombo (News 1st): President Maithripala Sirisena says, that he does not accept the fact that the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka was co-sponsored and signed by the Sri Lankan Ambassador. The President was speaking at the opening ceremony of the newly constructed police station in Meegahathenna.

At the recent UNHRC Sessions in Geneva, a resolution presented by Britain was adopted where Sri Lanka was a co-sponsor of the resolution.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet had this to say,

“Regarding the land occupied by the military in the Northern and the Eastern provinces, some progress has been noted. And further steps should be taken to complete this crucial process.”

President Sirisena emphasized the fact that they as a government, would only accept the accurate facts in the report presented at the UNHRC, but they reserve the right to reject all inaccurate information put forward by the UNHRC. He noted that the report of the High Commissioner says that the land held by the Army in areas in the North and the East during the war had not been released, and it recommended that an independent commission be appointed to release these lands.

The Head of State believes the reason behind her making this statement is due to the misleading statements made by non-governmental organizations. He noted that they will not appoint any independent commissions and will not act according to what outsiders say; the government will only act according to Sri Lanka’s constitution. President Sirisena stressed the fact that under no circumstances are they ready to act outside the constitution.

He noted that he is not ready to allow foreign judges to hear cases in this country. The President noted that the on February 25th, the resolution that was co-sponsored was signed by the Sri Lanka Ambassador without his knowledge and even the Foreign Ministry or the Secretary to the Foreign Ministry are unaware.

He pointed out that the President holds the responsibility of the country’s foreign policy, international relations, and international affairs, this cannot be done by anyone below that. He expressed his strong objection on the move and rejected the fact that this document was signed. The President changed the delegation that was due to be sent to Geneva. However, the final delegation had been decided without his consent.

President Sirisena noted that this document was signed after a person who is not a member of the public service in Sri Lanka was sent to Geneva as the Director General of the Reconciliation Bureau. He noted that he sees this as a betrayal of the tri-forces of the country, of the people and the government of Sri Lanka.

The Head of State noted that the address delivered by Thilak Marapana at Geneva, was written in Sri Lanka. The print media carried banner headlines that read that the Foreign Minister Thilak Marapana rejects hybrid courts in Sri Lanka. He noted that it was included after they held discussions on the matter. If not for the discussions, that was not the address that was to be made.

Meanwhile, issuing a communique, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet says she stands fully behind the report and the oral statement she made when presenting it to the Human Rights Council, and that she believes it fairly and objectively reflects the situation in Sri Lanka.

She adds that she is deeply disappointed by the spin that has been put on her discussion with the Sri Lankan government delegation noting that other news outlets in Sri Lanka were also continuing to significantly misrepresent the Human Rights Council process in Geneva.

The communique goes onto state that an article published in a newspaper on Monday seriously misrepresents her discussion of the recent UN Human Rights Office report on Sri Lanka with a Government delegation attending the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

She has further said that neither of these claims is true.

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